Uthoff has a non-guaranteed contract and is currently just a $47,953 cap hold while set to earn $1,312,611 next season if kept.
At first Uthoff appeared to be another non-guaranteed contract acquired by the Rockets to grease the wheels on a future trade. However, unlike players included in the Chris Paul trade and three currently on the Houston roster, Tim Quarterman, Ryan Kelly and Shawn Long, Uthoff can’t immediately be traded, at least with other players.
It’s complicated, but because Houston was over the cap when they acquired Uthoff there’s a two month moratorium on trading him with others:
Can be traded instantly, but not in a deal with others for 2 months because the Rockets are over the cap. Were under prior to Paul deal. https://t.co/ybdEjDrib1— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) June 29, 2017
Still with me? He could be traded by himself, but not with others. Total wolf pack of one situation, at least until September.
So Uthoff appears to be a Rocket for now and I’d guess he’ll suit up in Summer League if it’s not too late to list him. The trade rule also comes with a financial windfall for the big man, he’ll reap $200,000 in partial-guarantee salary if he’s on the roster past July 30th.
Houston used allocation cash to acquire the forward, same as four of the five other players they acquired. The 2016 - 2017 allocation cash limit was $3.5 million and resets on July 1st to a higher total of over $5 million, meaning this move doesn’t tie the Rockets hands at all for next season.
The undrafted former Iowa Hawkeye also has the look and the feel of a Morey project. He’s a 6’ 9” power forward who shot 46% from three on 65 attempts in 37 D-League games. He shot 38% from three in college including 38.2% his junior year on 5.2 attempts a game.
Daryl Morey may have acquired a player he’s interested in — and not just for their salary cap position. And after trading Kyle Wiltjer the role of D-League three point catapult is available. We’ll find out for sure when Uthoff’s trade moratorium is lifted in September.